The Irony in Trifles

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Heather Brown
Professor Evermind
English 1302
2 March 2012
The Irony in Trifles
The play Trifles written by Susan Glaspell is set in the nineteenth century. A trifle is a thing of little value or importance, so in the play Trifles the irony of the story is quite humorous. In this time period women were not treated as equals, men believed women did not have as much intellect as themselves, and treated them accordingly. With this in mind the irony of the play revolves around how much better the women were at finding clues and a motive to the murder committed by Mrs.Wright then the men, and how condescending they are of the women.

Trifles takes place at a crime scene investigation where a group of men are searching for clues to a murder, and two women who came to get things for the woman who was in jail. As the group of guys began searching for clues to help them charge Mrs.Wright for murdering her husband, the reader begins to see the way men view women in this century by their criticism of the cleanliness of the house, and referring to kitchen things as unimportant. The irony in this is that the woman start seeing clues in the kitchen, such as all the half finished tasks and a cabinet with a broken bird cage in it. As the play continues the group notices an uncompleted quilt in the living room. The women start discussing how Mrs.Wright was going to finish the quilt: knot it or quilt it; and the men laugh at the women for worrying about something so simple, but ironically the women find another clue inside the quilting basket. The most ironic part of the play is that the two women find the major clue, a dead bird strangled the same way Mrs.Wright's bird was, and the men who were unsuccessful at trying to find clues to the murder were unable to find a single clue or motive left the house still puzzled about the murder.

Irony is a tool that can be used to entertain a reader with its great comedic value, and Trifles does this in a unique way that...
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